Air Asia sells 29 planes only to lease them back

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Air Asia is selling 29 planes – Airbus’ A320-200ceo and A320neo to Castlelake. Castlelake will lease the same aircraft back to the Malaysia based budget airline AirAsia.

For AirAsia, the deal marks another move to monetize its assets as Asia’s biggest budget airline seeks to transform itself into an asset-light, digitally focused firm.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, AirAsia said its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Asia Aviation Capital Limited (AACL), had entered into a share purchase agreement with Castlelake’s indirect entities for the disposal of its entire equity interest in Merah Aviation Asset Holding Ltd – which owns the aircraft.

It said proceeds from the disposal would mainly be for the repayment of existing debt and to defray estimated expenses for the proposed transaction.

“The board believes that the proposed transaction is in line with AirAsia group’s strategy to focus on its core airline operations, while allocating resources within AirAsia group in a more efficient manner.”

“With the proposed transaction, AirAsia will be able to preserve its existing funds for its future business and provide a stable platform for AirAsia to expand its route network, without the financial commitment of owning aircraft which are capital intensive in nature and/or undertake new and appropriate investment opportunities to maximise shareholders’ returns.”

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